Ok, let’s play a little game. How many of you have broken up with a girlfriend and once the emotions stopped flaring you immediately regretted it? Did you think of someone as you read that? I know I did when I wrote it. A while back my girlfriend moved out and it was devastating. You want to know how important she was to my everyday life? The first day she left I forgot to eat, yes, I literally went almost 36 hours without eating. I went from coming home to a house full of love to an empty house with no one in it. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I fucked up majorly and immediately went into “Fix this shit before you lose out on a unicorn” mode. I’m also happy to say that everything has since gotten better.
Now, I say all that to say Magic Johnson did the exact opposite when he got rid of D’Angelo Russell. He treated D’ Lo like he was the side chick. It’s sad when you think about it. It felt like Magic made the trade, got on Twitter and announced to the world that he was single again and on the prowl. He might as well have gotten on IG and put up a picture of Russell and a long caption explaining why it would never work. He had his eye on the next guy a.k.a. Lonzo Ball the playmaking guard out of UCLA. There were no nice words from Magic as Russell left the city of angels, “He wasn’t the leader I was looking for.” Magic basically let the world know that he felt Russell was a scrub and what did TLC teach us? They taught us that no one wants a scrub because a scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me, hanging on the passenger side of his best friends ride, trying to holla at me.
I was shocked that Magic terminated the relationship when it seemed like adding Ball to the core was the final piece of a long re-build. I figured they’d slide Russell to SG, Lonzo would start at PG and Jordan Clarkson would be the sixth man off the bench, it was perfect. That was until ESPN hit me with a notification that will forever make me think, “What if?” How could Magic do that? This past year he complimented Russell on multiple parts of his game. What in the world was happening!?
I tried to make sense out of it and I realized Magic was making one of those emotional decisions like I talked about in the beginning. Even though I think Lonzo is going to be a stud, I think this will only propel D’Angelo Russell to unprecedented heights. From the jump Russell carried a chip on his shoulder, and I hope what transpired makes it a boulder. I also hope that he scores 50 on Ball the first time they play. After Russell knocks down a three in Lonzo’s face I want him to look at Magic and hit him with the Hotline Bling dance. Oh, the happiness I will feel if that happens.
Now, I’m not sitting here and trying to bash Magic or Lonzo. Win or lose I bleed purple and gold, but I feel some of the moves were a bit pre-mature. I think they jumped the gun and that caused them to get very little in return for a player who showed so much promise in his first two years. Not to mention he is only 21. It’s like leaving the party before 9 o’clock because it’s whack. How do you know what it’s going to evolve to if you don’t give it a chance to grow?
Now, this all ultimately brings us to two questions. One, did Magic overreact and go looking for his new arm candy? Or two, was letting go of Russell the smart thing to do because at the end of the day he wasn’t the type of “leader” Magic wanted? Honestly, I can’t answer that question right now. Time can only tell.
The Lakers are playing in the Summer League finals tonight largely because of Lonzo Ball, and his ability to make players around him better. He’s had a few triple-doubles and has already shown the floor leadership any team looks for in a young point guard. He can get to the bucket, he can pass you open, he can make the long court pass. This kid has it all.
On the other hand, Russell is by far the better scorer of the two, and better pure shooter. Granted he is going to Brooklyn where the talent pool is significantly shallower than what Los Angeles has managed to assemble through the last few drafts.
It doesn’t look like Magic is worried about the past. Who can blame him after Lonzo has come to hoop in Vegas, granted it is only Summer League. I don’t expect to see Magic on social media Tweeting Drake lyrics directed at D’Angelo anytime soon. Damn, Magic Johnson treated D’Angelo Russell like a side-chick and called him an Uber right out of town. I mean, what do you expect? Magic has been busting HIV’s ass for years. This man is about his business.